Dr. Mikael Ciftan is an Adjunct Professor of the Duke Physics Department who has conducted and sponsored research for more than twenty five years. He is employed by the Army Research Office in nearby research triangle park as a grant officer, where he has overseen numerous projects of great significance over the years. Dr. Robert Brown a Visiting Professor of Physics in the department who has been his close colleague and research collaborator for over twenty years.

The work conducted by their group over that period has primarily been condensed matter theoretical physics, although Dr. Brown has also been heavily engaged with the development of advanced high performance computational resources (beowulf compute clusters) within the department and elsewhere. The group also has an interest in some topics (such as neural networks and other statistical and mathematical engines) that are not strictly physics but are closely related to the statistical mechanics that underlies many body and condensed matter theory.

Projects currently in progress include:

- Evaluating the Critical Exponent of the Helicity Modulus (basically the spin wave stiffness) of the continuous classical Heisenberg model.
- Developing a full Self-Consistent Field, Density Functional program to compute electronic band structure using an exact Multiple Scattering Band Theory for the lattice developed by Brown and Ciftan some years ago.
- In association with these primary projects, develop the Physics Department's beowulf and cluster computing resources.
- Directing undergraduate research projects on genetic optimization and eventually neural networks in application to certain specific problems in physics.

These projects are described in more detail in sections below.